Aeda Mae Siao of Grand­land Res­i­dences shares how she eats re­jec­tions for break­fast and why all morn­ings are good in the real es­tate in­dus­try.

Aeda Mae Siao bucks ob­sta­cles, goes ver­ti­cal with her ca­reer


FOR Aeda Mae Siao, her life’s path was a straight line — graduate from col­lege, be a reg­is­tered nurse, work for a few years in Cebu, ap­ply for work abroad, get mar­ried and then have a fam­ily. But God had a dif­fer­ent course for Aeda. And it definitely wasn’t a straight path — it was filled with twists and turns and highs and lows.

Aeda went through a num­ber of small busi­nesses, ca­reer shifts and what­nots be­fore she landed on her real es­tate job. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Velez Col­lege with a de­gree in nurs­ing, a course her par­ents’ chose for her, she took the board exam and be­came a li­censed nurse. She worked for Velez Med­i­cal Hos­pi­tal as a staff nurse for four years. She also worked as a clin­i­cal in­struc­tor for the Univer­sity of San Jose-Recoletos.

Af­ter a year as a clin­i­cal in­struc­tor, she en­tered her first ca­reer shift. Aeda de­cided to get into the BPO in­dus­try and worked as a call cen­ter agent for a year and a half. Dur­ing her BPO stint, she had a lot of side­lines, from glu­tathione in­ject­ing to sell­ing of RTWs, lo­tions and per­fumes – all this to fund her im­mi­grant ap­pli­ca­tion to Canada where she planned to work as a nurse.

But again, op­por­tu­nity knocked on Aeda’s door. She got in touch with an old friend whose hus­band was a chef. They had the idea of open­ing a restau­rant/bar. Aeda latched on the idea and they opened a resto­bar called Fri­gos. As a hands-on owner, she over­saw the op­er­a­tion at the restau­rant. Aeda started to dream of own­ing a chain of restau­rants here in Cebu, then the Philip­pines.

Now restau­rant man­ager and owner, Aeda had some time left in her hands. The bar opened dur­ing the night, so a friend sug­gested to her that she en­ter the real es­tate busi­ness. She was hes­i­tant at first be­cause in her mind, her busi­ness was her num­ber one pri­or­ity and also, she was a non­be­liever of the real es­tate busi­ness. “My old think­ing was how could you sell mil­lions when the build­ing is not yet there? It was im­pos­si­ble for me to sell some­thing that ex­pen­sive when (the prod­uct) is not yet tan­gi­ble,” she said. “But I thought, I’ll just give it a try.”

New ground

The real es­tate world was a whole new thing for Aeda. As a nurse, her only in­ter­ac­tion with peo­ple was with the pa­tients, the doc­tors and con­sul­tants. As a real es­tate sales agent, she was trained to talk

to peo­ple from all walks of life. She didn’t think she would last long in the in­dus­try.

But af­ter two years in her restau­rant busi­ness, they had to close it down due to fi­nan­cial prob­lems. It was a hard time for Aeda be­cause to her, that was a dream that went down the drain. For two months, she went into de­pres­sion. “I was em­bar­rassed of my­self. Ev­ery­one knew my restau­rant was closed down. Plus, my job as a sales agent was also af­fected,” she shared.

But her bosses and men­tors at Grand­land, Ryan Bernard Go and Tina Pestaño, pres­i­dent and vice-pres­i­dent for sales and mar­ket­ing re­spec­tively, pushed Aeda to her ut­most po­ten­tial. Af­ter two years as an agent, she was pro­moted as lo­cal man­ager. “That was how I was con­vinced that this really is my path. I was hap­pier here,” she said. “This is really the best job that I’ve ever ex­pe­ri­enced.”

It was sur­pris­ing to her that she stayed for four years in the sales world. “I had no idea about man­ag­ing, sales, sem­i­nars, etc. I had no idea about real es­tate. My class­mates in Velez would see me hand­ing out fly­ers in malls and they would tell me, ‘Are you crazy? You should work as a nurse!’ But I didn’t mind them. I took all those dis­cour­age­ments and turned them into mo­ti­va­tors,” she said.

Num­bers game

Even when the go­ing was get­ting tough, Aeda pulled through. “I got re­jected about a mil­lion times and even in­sulted by peo­ple who I thought would sup­port me. I cried buck­ets of tears. But it’s all part of the job,” she said. “In sales, it’s a num­bers game. The more peo­ple you talk to, the higher the sales. Be­fore, I would be the one call­ing peo­ple and shar­ing to them about this great in­vest­ment they could ac­quire. But now, peo­ple are the ones call­ing me to ask about our projects.”

Be­cause of Aeda’s won­der­ful work in sales, she has com­pa­nies, both na­tional and in­ter­na­tional, call­ing her and offering her higher-pay­ing jobs. But her heart is loyal to Grand­land Res­i­dences. “I have this prin­ci­ple – why would I swim with sharks when I could cre­ate my own pond? My goal is not just the money. It’s about pas­sion. And my in­stinct tells me to stay in Grand­land. This is where I grew in my ca­reer. The trust the com­pany gives me is un­be­liev­able. So as the com­pany grows, I grow as well,” she said.

To­day,Aeda is the in­ter­na­tional sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager for Grand­land Res­i­dences. Now that she’s in the man­age­rial po­si­tion, she is in­spired to help peo­ple achieve their dreams in life. “Don’t stop chas­ing your dreams. You just have to be­lieve in your­self.”

Don’t stop chas­ing your dreams. You just have to be­lieve in your­self.”

TRUST, LOY­ALTY. With her ster­ling per­for­mance in sales, com­pa­nies, both na­tional and in­ter­na­tional, keep call­ing and offering her higher-pay­ing jobs, but Aeda said her heart is loyal to the com­pany that sup­ported her all the way.

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